Rainhill railway station

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Rainhill National Rail
Along the platform, Rainhill railway station (geograph 3819320).jpg
Rainhill railway station
Local authoritySt Helens
Grid referenceSJ491914
Station codeRNH
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.346 million
2014/15Increase 0.349 million
2015/16Increase 0.381 million
2016/17Decrease 0.377 million
2017/18Increase 0.406 million
Passenger Transport Executive
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Rainhill from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Rainhill railway station serves the district of Rainhill in Merseyside, England. It is situated on the electrified northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, forming part of the Liverpool City Line. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Northern on behalf of Merseytravel and are branded as Merseyrail services.

Rainhill has an important place in railway history, as the location of the Rainhill Trials where the proposed designs of locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway were tested in competition.


Rainhill station was opened in 1830 as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway,[1] and is one of the oldest passenger railway stations in the world. These early intermediate stations were often little more than halts, usually positioned where the railway was crossed by a road or turnpike.[2] This probably accounts for variations in the names of these stopping places,[3] The station was originally called Kendrick's Cross or Kendrick's Cross Gate but this name did not last long, according to Butt (1995) it was changed to Rainhill in 1831 and according to Holt (1965) it was known as Rainhill by 1838 but not formally changed to Rainhill until 1844.[3]

The station buildings are listed, they were constructed about 1860-68 by the London & North Western Railway, in a classical style, red brick, English bond, stone dressings, shallow hipped Welsh slate roof, modillion eaves cornice, single storey, linear plan.[4][5]

At the western end of the station George Stephenson designed and had constructed a skew arch bridge to take the Liverpool-Warrington-Manchester turnpike across the railway.[6] The bridge was the first skew to ever cross a railway and is now a listed building.[7]


As with most Merseytravel stations, it is fully staffed throughout the day (06:00 - 23:50 Mondays to Saturdays, 08:30 to midnight on Sundays). The booking office and waiting room is on the westbound platform, with a brick shelter on the opposite side and a lattice footbridge linking them. Digital information displays, help points and timetable poster boards are located on each side and there is step-free access to both platforms.[8]


Rainhill is served by Northern services between Liverpool Lime Street and either Crewe via Manchester Airport or Warrington Bank Quay every half-hour on Monday to Saturday daytimes. Prior to the May 2014 timetable change, some trains continued beyond Manchester to destinations such as Stalybridge or Huddersfield. During the evenings there is an hourly service to Manchester Airport/Wilmslow and Liverpool.[9] Services to/from Manchester Victoria are now limited and only run at peak times and early mornings/late evenings (since the May 2018 timetable change).

On Sundays, trains run once per hour to Liverpool Lime Street and to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and Wilmslow.

Following completion of electrification of the line in Spring 2015, the Liverpool to Manchester Airport, Liverpool to Manchester Victoria and Liverpool to Warrington Bank Quay services are now operated by 4-Car Class 319 Electric Units.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  2. ^ Ferneyhough, Frank (1980). Liverpool & Manchester Railway, 1830-1980. R. Hale. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-7091-8137-8.
  3. ^ a b Holt, G. O. (1965). A short history of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (Second ed.). The Railway and Canal Historical Society. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Rainhill Station declared a Grade II listed building" Knowsley Online article 15 March 2007; Retrieved 22 December 2016
  5. ^ "Historic England". Listed Building - Rainhill station. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  6. ^ Thomas, R. H. G. (1980). The Liverpool & Manchester Railway. London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0537-6.
  7. ^ "Historic England". Listed Building - Rainhill skew bridge. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  8. ^ Rainhill station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 22 December 2016
  9. ^ Table 90 National Rail timetable, May 2018


  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Whiston   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Line
  Lea Green

Coordinates: 53°25′02″N 2°46′03″W / 53.417112°N 2.767604°W / 53.417112; -2.767604